NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – Advocates countrywide were voting on Thursday to elect new officials to head the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and a representative to the Judicial Service Commission. The polls opened at 8.30 am, and in Nairobi, lawyers voted at the Supreme Court, Milimani Law Courts and Kibera.
While being hopeful of a win, outgoing Chairman Eric Mutua who voted at about 10.00 am at the Supreme Court lauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for the smooth running of the polls.
“I must at this point commend the IEBC because one of the things they did after our request is to have six streams because in the last elections, lawyers were complaining that the queues were long and there were delays in the voting and the senior lawyers especially got discouraged,” he said.
He observed that contrary to the last elections, the polls this year were being conducted very fast due to the increase in the number of streams being used.
“We have six streams here (Supreme Court) and likewise if you go to Milimani we also have six streams,” he said.
“The lawyers are enthusiastic and they are very happy that they really want to elect their representatives both at the Judicial Service Commission and the Law Society of Kenya.”
He exuded confidence of prevailing in his quest to reclaim the position of LSK chairman.
“Every candidate will tell you that their chances are high but from what I have been told if I am not being cheated, I am likely to come up with sixty percent of the vote,” he said.
Lawyer Charles Kanjama who is also going for the top post thanked all the lawyers who took part in the exercise saying this showed democracy in the process.
“We hope that this electoral process will end well and that the results will be prepared quickly and distributed to members and I also want to thank the members for showing interest in these elections, they have come out so far in large numbers and I hope that continues throughout the rest of the day,” he said.
The IEBC required that candidates vote using their Identification cards and LSK cards both of which Ahmednasir Abdullahi who was contesting for membership to the Judicial Service Commission did not have but after consultations was allowed to vote using his passport.
“The voting went smoothly. Of course they wanted to clarify whether I was registered and I usually vote with my passport. The last time, we used the documents you vote with in the national elections. This time they have used the National ID card only or the LSK card only and I did not have any of those. Ii however had my passport and I have voted,” he said.
His rival Tom Ojienda remained optimistic that the end of the day he will prevail in his quest.
“I am vying for the JSC, to replace Ahmednasir Abdullahi and I think we will wait and see what the outcome will be. You cannot tell in the voting because lawyers are still turning up, we will wait until 5.00pm,” he said.
IEBC has set up base at the LSK Secretariat in Lavington, from where final tallying and results announcement will happen.
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